Convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein requires a spate of critical health procedures to “save his teeth” and treat his failing vision before extradition, his attorneys have argued, according to TMZ.
The former movie producer’s legal team had fought his extradition to Los Angeles during a remote session on Monday, with Weinstein appearing in court via video from Wende Correctional Facility, near Buffalo.
Now: Convicted film producer Harvey Weinstein is appearing now before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case regarding his pending extradition to LA, where he faces new rape charges. He is not wearing his mask properly. pic.twitter.com/LbgKSh6em8— Molly Crane-Newman (@molcranenewman) April 12, 2021
Norman Effman, one of Weinstein’s attorneys, was cited as saying:
“He is almost technically blind at this point and in need of surgery…and shots. He’s also had some major dental issues and he has scheduled, as we speak, we don’t know again exactly when, for some dental procedures to save his teeth. He’s lost, I think, four at this point.”
Earlier it was reported by Fox News that the disgraced film producer was secretly indicted on rape charges by a grand jury in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago.
The move was seen as seeking to facilitate the extradition of Weinstein from New York so that he can be tried.
However, his attorneys informed the court that the sex felon would agree to being arraigned on his Los Angeles charges remotely, as they citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which would put him at higher risk if he were to be transferred.
Effman also added:
“The basic human nature of this case, it seems disruptive to undo what New York State has accomplished in its ability to care for a person, in their custody, and to ensure that he is receiving appropriate medical treatment.”
The abusive film producer who boasts many Oscar-winning films found his empire collapse around him in 2017 after reports surfaced claiming he had sexually abused many women.
Numerous alleged victims came forward to testify that Weinstein had sexually assaulted them, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd.
First arrested and charged with rape in May 2018, a Manhattan court found Weinstein guilty of two of five felonies in February 2020: first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape.
He was, however, cleared of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault charges that could have resulted in his life imprisonment.
Harvey Weinstein, who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York for charges he vehemently denied as is currently appealing, also faces 11 counts in California.
These include rape and sexual battery involving five incidents that allegedly took place between 2004 and 2013. If convicted, Weinstein faces up to 140 years behind bars.
“We’re not trying to avoid what is going to happen in California. We believe that there is not only defence to these charges, but a very good defence to these charges. We believe it will result in an acquittal,” said Norman Effman.
Regarding the charges in California, defence lawyer Mark Werksman was cited as saying:
"These are stale, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, uncredible allegations that arose during the hysteria of the #MeToo movement and we're confident that Mr. Weinstein will be acquitted because there's no credible evidence against him. He's innocent."
On Monday, Judge Kenneth Case gave Weinstein’s legal team a 20 April deadline to file papers detailing their opposition to extradition.
With another proceeding slated for 30 April, prosecutors have a week to respond.
Regardless of the outcome of the California case, the former producer, who together with his brother Bob Weinstein co-founded the entertainment company Miramax and produced hugely successful independent films, such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Shakespeare in Love (1998), would still have to return to New York to serve the rest of his 23-year sentence, which he is currently appealing.